Title: Be the Girl
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: January 21, 2019
# of Pages: 313
Almost sixteen-year-old Aria Jones is starting over. New postal code, new last name, new rules. But she doesn’t mind, because it means she can leave her painful regrets behind. In the bustling town of Eastmonte, she can become someone else. Someone better.
With the Hartford family living next door, it seems she will succeed. Sure, Cassie Hartford may be the epitome of social awkwardness thanks to her autism, but she also offers an innocent and sincere friendship that Aria learns to appreciate. And Cassie’s older brother, Emmett—a popular Junior A hockey player with a bright future—well … Aria wishes that friendship could lead to something more. If he didn’t already have a girlfriend, maybe it would.
But Aria soon finds herself in a dicey moral predicament that could derail her attempt at a fresh start. It is her loyalty to Cassie and her growing crush on Emmett that leads her to make a risky move, one that earns her a vindictive enemy who is determined to splinter her happy new world. (Goodreads)
Words have an amazing power, and K.A. Tucker has honed that power with the delivery of this young adult story, Be the Girl. While it is categorized in the young adult genre I truly believe that this story will resonate with people of all ages. So if you’re one to avoid Young Adult reads, I highly suggest you change that for this story.
This story centers on main character, Aria Jones. It begins with Aria and her mother moving across the country to live with her Uncle. From the very beginning readers are teased with the fact that these two are running away from their life in Calgary, and slowly throughout the story more and more details are revealed. This makes it incredibly hard to put down (so I didn’t!)
The two other key players in this story are Aria’s new neighbours, Emmett and Cassie. Cassie was an absolute light in this story and you can tell how personal of a character she is to Tucker. Emmett is Cassie’s older brother and I really loved the relationship that he and Cassie have. Emmett is the star hockey player in their town and I really loved the hockey back drop in this story. Being Canadian, I always love a story that touches on hockey. I also enjoyed the story being set in Canada, it was really neat reading names of towns mentioned that I have been too or driven past. Tucker, set her previous book, The Simple Wild (if you haven’t read it, go do that), in Toronto and I really love that she’s integrating Canada into her work.
This is one of those books that hold a valuable message within the story, and I believe these types of stories are so much more impactful if the reader goes into it blind, so you won’t be getting any spoilers from me! I will say that the end of book left me speechless, but in the best way possible. It absolutely left me wanting more and questioning how I felt about particular characters.
This is such an important story right now and gives a really excellent view point on what teens are dealing with today. This book went so much deeper then I had been anticipating and it will definitely be one that I recommend to others.